The following benefit programs are available to military and veteran students of California University of Pennsylvania:
Chapter 30 - Montgomery GI Bill
The Montgomery GI Bill (Chapter 30) assists students who entered active duty for the first time after July 1, 1985, and who agreed to have their pay reduced by $100 for 12 months. Veterans must have received an honorable discharge and active-duty personnel must have served at least two years to be eligible to use their benefits.
Certain veterans and active-duty military personnel who were eligible for educational assistance under the Vietnam Era GI Bill (Chapter 34) on Dec. 31, 1989, may be eligible for benefits under the Montgomery GI Bill if they have served on active duty since Oct. 19, 1984, without a break in service and served three continuous years on active duty from June 30, 1985, through June 30, 1988, or served two continuous years on active duty followed by four years in the selected reserves after June 30, 1985. A break in service of 90 days or less during the period Oct.19, 1984, through June 30, 1985, will not disqualify a person from eligibility for benefits. However, a break in active duty of any length after June 30, 1985, will disqualify a person for Chapter 30. These participants are not required to make contributions to the program. Certain individuals who are voluntarily or involuntarily separated from active duty with an honorable discharge may elect to participate and make a $1,200 contribution to the Montgomery GI Bill program before separating from active duty. This includes individuals who may have participated in the Veterans Educational Assistance Program (VEAP - Chapter 32).
Individuals are allowed 36 months of full-time entitlement. Participants who have eligibility through the Vietnam Era GI Bill have 36 months of entitlement or the amount of entitlement they have remaining from Chapter 34, whichever is less. Benefits must be used within 10 years from the date the individual was last discharged from active duty.
Tuition Assistance Top-up
Tuition Assistance Top-up is available to students on active duty, approved to use federal tuition assistance and eligible for Chapter 30, the Montgomery GI Bill.
On Oct. 30, 2000, an amendment to the Montgomery GI Bill was signed into law which permits the Department of Veterans Affairs to pay a Tuition Assistance Top-up benefit. Prior to this law, all branches of the military could pay up to 75% of a service member's tuition and expenses through the Tuition Assistance program. Service members were required to pay the remaining costs of their tuition bill themselves and they were not allowed to receive Tuition Assistance and use their Montgomery GI Bill for the same course. With the passing of the law, all branches of the military are allowed to pay 100% of the service member's tuition and expenses. When the military cannot or does not cover 100% of the tuition and expenses, a service member eligible for the Montgomery GI Bill can elect to receive his or her benefits for all or part of the remaining expenses.
The use of Tuition Assistance Top-up reduces future entitlement to the Montgomery GI Bill and service members should carefully consider their situations. For further information on Tuition Assistance Top-up, visit the Department of Veterans Affairs website: www.gibill.va.gov.
Chapter 31 – Vocational Rehabilitation
Vocational Rehabilitation (Chapter 31) provides assistance to veterans who have a service-connected disability of at least 20 percent and are in need of vocational rehabilitation.
Eligible veterans may be allowed up to 48 months of full-time benefits. Veterans generally have 12 years from the date they are notified of their entitlement to the program.
Chapter 1606 – Montgomery GI Bill – Selected Reserves
Montgomery GI Bill - Selected Reserves (Chapter 1606) benefits are available to reservists who enlist, re-enlist or extend an enlistment in the Selected Reserve for not less than six years on or after July 1, 1985. For officers, the six-year period is in addition to any other obligated period of service. Eligibility for the program requires that the reservists have obtained a high school diploma or equivalent. In addition, the reservist must have completed Initial Active Duty Training (IADB). Finally, a reservist must be participating in training at the time benefits are used.
A reservist is allowed 36 months of full-time benefits.
Chapter 35 – Survivors and Dependents Benefits
Survivors and Dependents Benefits (Chapter 35) provide educational benefits to spouses and children of veterans who died while in service, died as a result of a service-connected disability or became totally and permanently disabled as a result of their military service.
Survivors and dependents are allowed 45 months of full-time benefits. Spouses have 10 years from the date of the veteran's effective date of permanent and total disability rating or the veteran's death. Dependents' benefits end on their 26th birthday or eight years from the veteran's effective date of permanent or total disability rating or the veteran's death, but not after the dependent's 31st birthday.